Guest Editorial: “We need stronger state policies to combat climate change”

Today’s Vail Daily published an opinion piece by all three Eagle County Commissioners (Jeanne McQueeney, Kathy Chandler-Henry & Matt Scherr), Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes on behalf of the Avon Town Council, and Vail Mayor Dave Chapin on behalf of Vail Town Council.

Last year, Colorado was the warmest it has ever been in 124 years of record keeping. In addition to shortening the winter recreation season, upon which so much of our economy depends, warm winters also allow beetles to survive in large numbers and kill growing swaths through our forests. The expansive beetle damage combined with the hot, dry summers is increasing fire danger, and last year was one of the worst fire seasons on record in Colorado — five of the 2018 fires were among the top 20 largest blazes ever in Colorado. Eagle County experienced its first major wildfire, which nearly took out El Jebel and Basalt. On top of all this, severe flooding extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity.

But with less than two weeks remaining in the legislative session, and most of these bills still working their way through the process, our state senators and representatives will have to continue working hard to get them over the finish line.